breakfast nook

A lot of houses we have seen come with the so called recipe desks in the kitchen area. I feel women being under appreciated of doing their paperwork close to the kitchen while the men can enjoy their full own room with closed doors. But that is me – please do not feel offended…

In our house this desk is once more a built in among the others that would rather take away flexibility than being helpful – for our lifestyle that is.

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The first agreement I made with my husband on closing day was: this one had to go!

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We love how it opens up the whole area and will give us so many more options  to use this space now. Either for art…

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These wooden artsy people represent our family. We had them screwed to the wall in our previous homes but later the artist Ingrid Wild came up with the idea of those metal feet. Now they really are 3D art and can be moved around easily. One night I came home from the movies with this little red card saying ” Love your movie theatre”. Changing only the letter “O” to an “D” was changing the meaning to “child”. Love your child! Made a lot more sense to my son  – he had to correct it immediately. We then attached it with kitchen string to our wooden family. Voilà!

The other option we are contemplating would be to create a banquette seating or add a sofa as part of our overall concept for this area. We call it the “communication area” it would involve more than the seating.

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The green settee is from Horchow. And then add some other seating options plus side tables like these from Westelm. Better even, have some custom built banquette seating with very cool fabric.

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What would you do with this area? I would love to hear your ideas in the comment section! 

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aligning the lines

As  I mentioned before – my eyes need to be able to relax before my body can.

Looking at a place where too many lines are not aligned makes me restless. The least thing you want to feel in your own home. I am no architect and could never construct a house but am saying that there are some architects that can do their job better than others.

My parent’s home is a superb example of how important it is that a house has straight lines and that this concept is followed throughout the house. An electrical outlet aligned with a doorframe or shelf. A window aligned with the door across. The height of doorframes versus window frames. Position of doorknob to light switch. It is endless. Once you got used to that you are addicted.

Unfortunately many of the cookie cutter developer homes do lack this thought. I takes me a while to figure out what is off with a room but then it becomes very obvious.

This house in Texas I would rate a 6 out of a 10. Some changes are possible, others will never be solved. We do our best, we are no builders and money does not grow on trees.

One example were the ornate window frames we had in a few rooms. Easy to be solved. Done! 

Here is our living room built in wall before. A lot of crazy non-aligning going on there. Do you see? Shelves versus mantle, top of cut out versus wall on the left, doorframe in the back hallway on a totally different height, etc. ImageAt first I only wanted to get rid of the arch on top and the little overhang to the left. But the domino effect hit us hard in the living room! Oh, my dear! It was the last built in that we agreed to stay in. “People want that in their living rooms”, we were told. And we wanted to stay within our budget and willing to compromise here – to compromise a lot.

As always one thing led to the other and long story short: All is gone now!

And while at it, we took off the wooden panel over the fireplace and opened up the drywall up until the ceiling.

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Oops, shit happens! The fire place exhaust duct on the right side could not be removed so easily. So we had to close it up again but were aligning the lines! We stayed within the same height than the opening on the left side of the room.

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While at it, the fireplace mantle was made a little thinner, too.

Before:

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after:

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The fireplace is in need of some changes for sure. But no granite for me! Most likely just paint. We already went overboard with the rest of this room…

On a different note: the hardwood floors had been in and out again within 24 hours. Long and frustrating story to be told another time.

Bye bye built-ins

I don’t like built-ins at all but I am totally aware that others could not live without them. This is our project, so these had to go…

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It gives this room so much more flexibility – and of course space. I imagine a combination of office with a lounge-like feel. I guess in its former life this room had been a kind of man cave with focus on media – the new life is going to be a more cosy and relaxing one. I call it The Retreat.

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